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    Although high school can be a fun place, it can also be a place associated with dreadfulness. This is the case for Melinda Sordino. While trying to navigate her way in high school, Melinda finds it to be full of cliques or clans, as she calls them. However, she falls into the clan of the Outcasts, and sadly, she is the sole member.


    Melinda is an outcast due to one catastrophic event that happens at a party. As a result of trying to do the right thing, she is ostracized; she has lost her friends. This novel explores the dynamics of man vs. man, man vs. society, and man vs. self.


    I really like how Halse allows Melinda to narrate her story. There are a few times when people talk to her, and she responds. But there are other times when people talk to her, and she does not say a word; the only thing that can be heard is silence. It is the lack of words that lets readers know that whatever has happened to Melinda is extremely traumatizing.


    I also like how this novel focuses on Melinda's classmates who are viewed as powerless due to censorship by Mr. Neck, a teacher at Meadow Merryweather High School; however, one student, David Petrakis, fights back. David becomes one of Melinda's true friends who encourages her to speak up like the Women Suffragettes.


    Lastly, this book reminds me of Fomba, a character in The Book Negroes. This character suffers a tragedy so great in his life that he loses his ability to speak. Although their experiences are different, their suffering is the same - the inability to be heard. Will Melinda ever her find her voice? Read Speak but do not be surprised if you are at times, speechless.


    Forever Reading's Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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